1991 Zaire unrest

In September and October 1991, Zaire (modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo) experienced substantial violent unrest, as several Zairian Armed Forces units mutinied and rioted, soon joined by civilian protesters and looters. While the revolting soldiers primarily demanded more reliable and higher wages and it remained unclear whether they had any political motives, many civilians demanded the end of President Mobutu Sese Seko's repressive and corrupt dictatorship. The unrest started in Zaire's capital Kinshasa, and quickly spread to other cities. Large-scale looting caused massive property and economic damage, but the unrest resulted in no clear political changes. Zaire remained locked in a political crisis until 1996–1997, when Mobutu was overthrown during the First Congo War.

Unrest in Zaire
Part of the collapse of Zaire
DateSeptember–October 1991
Several cities across Zaire
Caused by
  • Government corruption
  • Unreliable and poor pay for most FAZ soldiers
  • Political repression
  • Economic crisis
  • Failure to implement promised reforms
MethodsArson, demonstrations, mutiny, looting, rioting
Resulted in
Parties to the civil conflict

Zairian government

  • FAZ loyalists
  • SARM
Supported by:
 United States
FAZ mutineers
Civilian protesters, including looters
Lead figures
 ? (including DSP, SARM)
Several brigades of mutineers
Many civilians
Casualties and losses
Deaths: 200+
Injuries: 1,250+

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